When I see this, I hear a page turning:
Walmart has been adding solar to scores of stores across the country . . . as it plans to become 100 percent renewably powered. . . The company has aggressively been building out solar on its stores and other buildings. It’s also been boosting its purchase of renewable energy both directly and indirectly. And it is doing so across the world.
“Walmart has 280 renewable energy projects in operation or under development, and continues to test solar, fuel cells, microwind, offsite wind projects, green power purchases and more,” the company said.
Sure, circumstances are different – maybe a lot different – here than there. But the single most important thing they did was decide to do something. And they went from there.
Portugal’s electricity network operator announced that renewable energy supplied 70 percent of total consumption in the first quarter of this year. This increase was largely due to favorable weather conditions resulting in increased wind and water flow, as well as lower demand. Portuguese citizens are using less energy and using sources that never run out for the vast majority of what they do use.
. . . Portugal’s investment in modernizing its electricity grid in 2000 has come in handy. Like in many countries, power companies owned their own transmission lines. What the government did in 2000 was to buy all the lines, creating a publicly owned and traded company to operate them. This was used to create a smart grid that renewable energy producers could connect to (encouraged by government-organized auctions to build new wind and hydro plants).
And then there’s this – surprising, and very hopeful:
Other countries have been making steps of their own on renewable power production. The U.S. had a record-breaking year for wind energy in 2012, growing by 28 percent. Sweden is looking to have no dependence on oil by 2020. Australia could be looking at 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Global solar power world will soon be a net-positive energy source.
When the nuclear went down, Japan turned to its wind farms. Stupid Japanese, don’t even know that wind has no role in any serious energy policy. We know, cuz Dick Cheney told us.
Even the country’s totally badass Kamisu offshore wind farm, with its giant 2 MW turbines with blades big as the wings on a jumbo jet, and only 186 miles from the epicenter of the largest quake ever recorded in Japan, survived without a hiccup thanks to its “battle proof design.” As a result, the nation’s electric companies have asked all of its wind farms to increase power production to maximum, in order to make up for the shortfalls brought about by the failure of certain other aging, non-resilient 20th-century technologies